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What is the impact of blogging used with self-monitoring strategies for adolescents who struggle with writing?

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Klein, Amy
Kruizenga, Teresa; Ward, Gay
MSE, Reading
Sep 04, 2012
Writing; Internet in education; Blogging; Writing--Study and teaching (Middle school); Blogs
Writing is an onerous task for those who struggle with the skill. The basic prerequisites of organizing thoughts, transcribing thoughts into words, and writing down those words is fundamental to the more advanced skills of developing a sense of audience, writing with voice and applying conventions. Without proficient skills, students who cannot write, do not write. Positive attitude toward the process of writing suffers. Time spent on actual writing is limited. As a consequence, writing skill does not develop. Students who struggle with writing can be supported in their skill development through self-monitoring strategies. Self-monitoring strategies for writing give students a systematic process to know how to approach a writing task. The clear step-by-step process breaks down difficult skills and allows students to build proficiency through guided practice and eventually, independence. This action research project explored the impact of using self-monitoring strategies with the 21st century skill of blogging within a Writer's Workshop instructional model. Sixteen students (eleven males, five females) in grades 6-8th participated in a twelve week study. Target writing skills of fluency, stamina, motivation, awareness of audience and participation in peer review were measured for changes over the course of the study. Students were instructed in the use of self-monitoring strategies focusing on increasing word counts in correct word sequence timings, on-command prompt passages, and formal writing process pieces. Blogging was introduced and used to apply target skills to a digital writing setting. Each student learned self monitoring strategies to compose posts in personal blogs and to read and comment on other students' blogs. Pre-and post-writing attitude survey, correct word sequence timings and writing samples were taken throughout the study to assess each students' skill level and attitude toward writing. The group showed average gains of 34% in correct word sequence and 66% in word counts of process writing pieces. Qualitative data and quantitative data demonstrate that writing skills and attitudes toward writing also showed positive development when self-monitoring strategies were used to support the writing tasks of blogging in a Writer's Workshop model.
Plan B Paper. 2012. Master of Science in Education- Reading--University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Teacher Education Department. 28 leaves. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 25-26).
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